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It may not have been made specifically for the device, and it kind of seems thrown together, but Crystal Defenders still manages to be a solid, worthwhile release.
This was obviously a port of the regular iPod game rushed to the App Store without the needed upgrades for the iPhone. And at $7.99, you deserve better than a rush job that doesn't even take advantage of the platform. There is a Lite version you can test for free and I highly recommend you do so before committing to the paid download. There is a fun game in here. But Square Enix sure did a good job burying it.
I loved this game even though the control design was maddening. I moved past it, developed techniques to make the gameplay feel close enough to fluid, and had some fun. Fans of Final Fantasy will buy this game whether I tell them to or not. Tower defense junkies should definitely check out the free version and then go on for a buy unless you for some reason don’t enjoy yourself. Regular/casual iPhone gamers? This might be a little too complex for your tastes, so check out the free version before spending the dough.
Crystal Defenders is a strange package overall. It faithfully reproduces the look of the Final Fantasy Tactics series, but is totally devoid of the storytelling that Square Enix is famous for. The game nails the basic Tower Defense gameplay, and even tosses in some novel ideas, but the ungainly and amateurish controls damage the experience. So where does it fit? Well, it's easy to recommend to Final Fantasy fans, or to anyone that simply can't get enough tower defense clones. However, it is probably not the best place for beginners to jump in, nor is it the best value at $7.99. A few more levels and a redesign of the controls would make it much easier to recommend.